Orrin Hatch, James A. Duke, Indena among recipients of AHPA awards

By Adi Menayang

- Last updated on GMT

AHPA President Michael McGuffin © AHPA
AHPA President Michael McGuffin © AHPA
The American Herbal Products Association (AHPA) presented six awards during its annual member meeting at the Natural Products Expo West in Anaheim, CA, last weekend, recognizing individuals and organizations that have made significant contributions to the herbal products industry.

The awards, established by AHPA​ in 2006, acknowledge the individuals and organizations that help further the association’s goal of promoting the responsible commerce of herbs and herbal products.

Categories were: AHPA Herbal Hero Award, AHPA Lifetime Achievement in Research Award, AHPA Lifetime Achievement in Legislation Award, AHPA Herbal Industry Leadership Award, AHPA Herbal Insight Award, and the AHPA Journalistic Excellence Award.

"AHPA is pleased to recognize the hard work and dedication of these individuals and organizations. AHPA and the entire herbal products industry have greatly benefited from their expertise and dedication,"​ said AHPA President Michael McGuffin. "These awards are a small token of our gratitude for their tireless efforts."

Here are the winners:

Herbal Hero Award: AHPA GACP/GMP Working Group

The award went to the working group of AHPA members who updated and expanded AHPA's Good Agricultural and Collection Practices and Good Manufacturing Practices (GACP/GMP) for botanical materials.

AHPA GACP-GMP Working Group
GNC Chief Innovation Officer and Senior Vice President Guru Ramanathan, Ph.D., left, and members of the GACP/GMP Working Group, winners of the Herbal Hero Award. © AHPA

Comprising the group are Guillaume Blin (Naturex Inc.), Paolo De Bellis (Indena S.p.A.), April Duffy (Trout Lake Farm, LLC), Staci Eisner (Cortex Scientific Botanicals), Edward Fletcher (Herbal Ingenuity), Heather Folks-Lambert (Trout Lake Farm, LLC-Amway/Nutrilite), Alessandra Storzini (Indena USA Inc.), and Jane Wilson (AHPA).

“The working group made outstanding contributions to AHPA initiatives by updating guidance and creating accompanying assessment tools that provide a framework for growers, harvesters, and processors so they can ensure that herbal raw materials used in consumer products are accurately identified, not adulterated with contaminants that may present a health risk, fully conform to all quality characteristics and respect ethical and environmental principles,”​ according to a press release by the association.

GNC's Chief Innovation Officer and Senior Vice President Guru Ramanathan, Ph.D., presented the 2018 AHPA Hero Award.

Lifetime Achievement in Research Award: Dr. James A. Duke (posthumous)

James A. Duke, Ph.D. was awarded Lifetime Achievement in Research posthumously for his “invaluable research that contributed to the responsible commerce of herbal products.”

American Botanical Council (ABC) founder Mark Blumenthal presented the Lifetime Achievement in Research Award posthumously to Dr. James A. Duke. Here, he holds a copy of Herbalgram with Dr. Duke on the cover. © AHPA

American Botanical Council (ABC) founder Mark Blumenthal presented the award to Jim Duke and outlined how Dr. Duke helped introduce herbal medicine to countless people through his books, research, lectures, poetry, music and his botanical garden, The Green Farmacy Garden.

“Dr. Duke's sincere passion for understanding how humans can use plants as medicine to promote health and well-being helped numerous individuals use herbs to improve their quality of life,”​ according to the association.

Lifetime Achievement in Legislation Award: Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT)

The AHPA Lifetime Achievement Award in Legislation went to Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT), who announced his retirement this year​ after serving more than four decades in the US Senate.

AHPA President Michael McGuffin presented the award. The herbal supplement industry owes a debt of gratitude for Senator Hatch's decades of bipartisan work to enact laws and regulations that ensure consumers have access to a wide variety of high-quality health supplements, McGuffin said.

Industry Leadership Award: Indena

AHPA Chief Science Officer Holly Johnson presented the 2018 AHPA Herbal Industry Leadership Award to Milan-headquartered Indena​ for “setting an example for the industry through outstanding business practices that move the industry forward.”

Dr. Johnson highlighted Indena's business practices that go above and beyond to provide consistent quality.  In addition Indena has performed decades of invaluable, cutting-edge research and innovative practices aimed at ensuring sustainable sources of high quality herbal ingredients.

“Indena’s experts communicate and interact consistently with the major international regulatory authorities,”​ said Alessandra Storzini, strategic regulatory affairs manager at Indena.

“Collaborating with internationally respected teams has always been strategic for Indena. The purpose being to act proactively and collaborate to improve the botanical extracts market and raise quality expectations. We believe it is our responsibility to make authentic products which contribute to the growth and advancement of the botanical industry.”

Herbal Insight Award: United Plant Savers (UpS)

The Herbal Insight Award went to United Plant Savers​ (UpS) for “significant contributions that further the knowledge and understanding of botanicals and their uses.”

UpS is a nonprofit organization which has a mission to protect native medicinal plants of the United States and Canada and their native habitat while ensuring an abundant renewable supply of these plants for generations to come.

“Their pioneering research, education, and conservation of native medicinal plants touches everyone involved in the American herbal industry,”​ according to association.

Journalistic Excellence Award winner Heather Granato, vice president of content, health & nutrition at Informa Exhibitions, flanked by Natasha Weaver (left) AHPA’s director of education, and Suzanne Shelton (right), managing partner of The Shelton Group, a PR firm based in the Chicago area that specializes in the natural product industry. © AHPA

UpS Executive Director Susan Leopold, Ph.D., thanked AHPA members for the award and stressed the importance of the industry acting as a responsible steward of valuable medicinal plants to pass the benefits of herbs to future generations.

Mountain Rose Herbs Marketing Manager Raychel Kolen presented the award.

Journalistic Excellence Award: Heather Granato

Heather Granato, vice president of content, health & nutrition at Informa Exhibitions, took home the AHPA Journalistic Excellence Award.

She is a 25-year veteran of the natural products industry and has been a longtime supporter of AHPA. The award was presented by Suzanne Shelton, managing partner of The Shelton Group and Natasha Weaver, AHPA's Director of Education

Shelton and Weaver praised Granato for setting an example for the natural products industry for more than two and half decades.

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